Last weekend a historic swell hit Sydney’s coast. Kelly Slater got in the mix, photographers shot their optics off, and local surfers filled their (neoprene) boots with piss and glory.
Everywhere from Manly to Avalon went, as they say, off. In amongst it all, though, at a relatively well-known break, there was an incident which has now gone viral.
The video involves an inexperienced surfer attempting to gain access to the water by ‘rocking off.’
Experienced surfers usually do this to avoid a long paddle. Our ~protagonist~ however, only succeeds in making himself a meme.
The surfer in question fails to gain entry multiple times, is heckled from the cliff and – finally – after being dragged across the rocks multiple times, manages to get in (only to be swept back down the beach without catching a wave).
The video was then posted on Youtube and reposted by various surf media with variations of the following headline: “How not to rock off.”
Other than inspiring the requisite chuckles and head shakes it was designed to, however, it has also stirred up a cultural divide among Sydney surfers.
While The Sydney Morning Herald and co. like to report on Sydney’s “latte line” in terms of jobs and housing, this ‘rock off video’ serves as a similar flashpoint for surfers.
Case in point: the following comment, left underneath a Swellnet article discussing the video: “I punt is he’s a fuckwit Trust Fund Kid who was coking his head off all night and morning.”
“Back to the cafe for a half strength decaf latte,” wrote another in the Youtube comments.
This came among more ‘normal’ criticisms from Swellnet users, like, “you are supposed to jump when the wave comes mate!” and “train wreck, but can’t look away…”.
Other highlight comments include: “He should not of been anywhere near the ocean that day, and his poor board copped a battering” and “I am still bemused how with that paddling style he thought he was going to catch even one wave in those conditions.”
“This is the surfing equivalent of a bloke who has just learnt to snowplow and then decides to take on a narrow 45 degree chute with a few cliff bands in it.”
While, in other circumstances, his persistence would have been admirable, the size of the surf that day and his evident lack of experience (unless this is all some elaborate hoax by a stuntman), render it foolish and selfish, the consensus seems.
For more on the cultural divide, check out the following…